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The ACA Adaptive Paddling Program and the USACK Paracanoe Program Work Together

As part of our USACK / ACA partnership, in the summer of 2015, we have recently applied for and just received two grants targeted specifically for individuals with disabilities including one grant that has an elite level Paracanoe competition focus.

     • Craig H. Neilsen Foundation - $123,460.00
     • Department of Veteran Affairs - $149,133.85

     Total funding: $272,593.85

We are contracting with former ACA staff member, Joe Moore who now runs Adaptive Expeditions to manage both of these grants.


We are looking for local paddling clubs across the country who are interested in either starting or expanding their adaptive programs and learning how to organize a seasonal or year round adaptive program for their community.

We are excited for the opportunities that these two grants present for paddlers of all abilities, but also for the possibility of finding a few individuals who might be interested to compete on a national and/or international level.


Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

Finding Quality of Life through Paddlesports

The goal of this project is to expand the number of individuals with spinal cord injuries who have the opportunity to experience paddlesports from the recreational level up to elite Olympic competition.  By partnering with local USACK and ACA paddling clubs, this project will provide the specialized training and equipment needed to empower these clubs to recruit, train and motivate individuals with spinal cord injuries to participate recreationally and potentially compete in paddlesports at a national and international level.  This program will take place at six(6) locations across the country in coordination with local USACK and ACA paddling clubs.

Impact to quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injury:
An opportunity to safely experience an outdoor, on-water recreational activity
Local clubs will be trained and educated on how to offer a continuous paddlesport program for individuals with spinal cord injuries 
Individuals will have the opportunity to choose from simply learning the basics of paddlesports all the way up to a training program designed for elite paracanoe athletes




Department of Veteran Affairs

Racer Quest for Veterans with Disabilities 

With this project, the ACA, in partnership with USACK, will address the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) policy to support adaptive sports outreach programs for introductory through elite levels of participation for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

The ACA has been the national leader in paddlesports safety, education and instruction since 1972.  USACK is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and is the National Governing Body (NGB) for paddlesports.  With this partnership, the focus of this grant project will be twofold in meeting the VA’s goals and objectves for the Adaptive Sports Grant (ASG) Program.

This grant project will combine the ACA’s extensive local paddlesports outreach and 25 year history of adaptive paddlesport education with the elite coaching expertise of USACK in the Paralympic discipline of kayak.  

The grant is a two phase project.  Phase 1 of this grant program will focus on introducing disabled Veterans to the wholelife health benefits of using a kayak as a recreational activity.  Phase 2 of this grant program will allow disabled Veterans to participate in the Racer Quest program which is a gateway to competing at the national and international levels in paddlesport as an elite athlete.

ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, stewardship support to help protect paddling environments, and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration, and recreation.

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Phone: 540-907-4460
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